fmtutil.cnf man page

fmtutil.cnf — configuration file for fmtutil


The fmtutil.cnf file contains the configuration information for fmtutil(8). Each line contains the name of the format (e.g., ``tex´´, ``latex´´, ``omega´´), the name of the engine that is used by that format (e.g., ``tex´´, ``etex´´, ``omega´´), the pattern file (e.g., language.dat, language.def), and any arguments (name of an .ini file).

Fields are separated by whitespace and complete lines can be commented out with ``#´´. The ``pattern file´´ field cannot be used to define a file that is used while building the format. It tells fmtutil which files (separated by commas) the format creation procedure reads and it has an effect to the options --showhyphen and --byhyphen. If the format has no way to customize hyphenation, a ``-´´ can be used to indicate this.


The tex(1) and amstex(1) formats always load hyphen.tex. No customization by a pattern file is available for these formats. Therefore, the pattern-file field for the tex and amstex is usually indicated to be empty (``-´´).

You can, however, build customized formats on top of plain tex(1) or amstex(1) by using bplain.tex instead of plain.tex (b for the Babel system). See, for example, the bplain.ini file for the bplain format).

etex(1) loads language.def, not language.dat.

Symbolic links to the correct engines (e.g., bplain -> tex) are generated by the texlinks(8) script. Remember to run texlinks(8) if you run fmtutil(8) yourself, rather than using the FORMATS option in texconfig(8).


default configuration file
hyphenation pattern file
hyphenation pattern file
hyphenation pattern file

See Also

amstex(1), etex(1), fmtutil(8), tex(1), texconfig(8), texlinks(8).

Web page: <>


None known, but report any bugs found to <> (mailing list).


fmtutil.cnf was written by Thomas Esser <>, and is Copyright 1998, 1999 but released into the public domain.

This manual page was written by C.M. Connelly <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system. It may be used by other distributions without contacting the author. Any mistakes or omissions in the manual page are my fault; inquiries about or corrections to this manual page should be directed to me (and not to the primary author).

Referenced By

texconfig(1), texlinks(1).

October 2000 teTeX teTeX